The port town of Patitiri abounds with restaurants and tavernas, so many that it really is a challenge to visit them all, even if you’ll be on the island for a fortnight or more. In our many trips to Alonnisos we’ve never tried to sample the offerings of numerous restaurants, but have instead adopted the approach of frequenting those establishments that we already “know” serve great food and provide excellent service.
There are a few Patitiri restaurants in particular that we visit on a regular basis, and in this post I’ll focus on the Akrogiali Estiatorio, which is owned and operated by Pasxalis Diniakos and his wife, Eleni (pictured to your right). The restaurant was originally run by his mother, Nina, so Pasxalis grew up in the business and really knows how to properly manage a restaurant. This is clearly evidenced by the fact that it’s very rare to find an empty table at the Akrogiali, and in the high season you’d be wise to get there before 8:30 p.m. or you’ll definitely have to wait to be seated. Even with such popularity, however, you won’t find Pasxalis making any overt attempt to speed you out of his restaurant so he can seat the next customers. In my experience this is because he really does believe in practicing “filoxenia” (Greek, for hospitality), and wants you to be completely satisfied with your dining experience. Every since the first time we ate there in 2000 we’ve been warmly welcomed and that exceptional treatment combined with the delicious food served there makes Akrogiali a place to return to again and again.
Open for lunch and dinner meals, the Akrogiali has a good-size menu that includes both hot and cold appetizers, and a full range of fresh salads as well. Their Skordalia (garlic spread) is always freshly prepared, as is their Meletzana Salata (eggplant spread), which is in our view the best on the island. As for entrees, Eleni makes fantastic oven-baked dishes such as Moussakas, Lemon Chicken, and Lamb Kleftiko. Pasxalis is also quite adept on the grill, making some of the best Souvlakia (kebobs) you’ll find, as well as tasty lamb chops and pork chops. It is in the seafood arena that Pasxalis really shines, as he always has a tremendous selection of both fresh and frozen fish, as well as a broad assortment of shellfish. My mother-in-law Elaine is particularly fond of the steamed Mussells in Wine dish, their Atharina (see photo to your left), and also their Shrimp Saganaki.
The Akrogiali Estiatorio is located right on the waterfront in Patitiri, so it provides an excellent view of the harbor. In the evening it becomes a very lively place, with loads of people walking down the promenade checking out the sights and trying to decide where to eat. The picture to your right, which Andrea took from our table on the evening of a full moon, gives you a good idea of the view this restaurant offers. The Akrogiali seats perhaps 30 – 40 patrons at a time, which makes it more of a “personal” place than other, larger restaurants on the island.
Should you take our advice and visit this wonderful estiatorio, please do ask for Pasxalis and tell him Jeff & Andrea from Chicago sent you! You won’t regret your decision to have a meal there, and my guess is, you’ll want to go back again and again.
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